Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 265 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Clary Fray, a seemingly ordinary teenager, discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother, Clary joins forces with a group of Shadowhunters who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York City called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures. [Sony Pictures] Expand
  • Director: Harald Zwart
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Fantasy, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 130 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 35
  2. Negative: 16 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Aug 21, 2013
    Make no mistake, there will be a sequel. Clary may not wind up having the same pop-culture impact as Bella and Katniss, but like it or not, this won't be the last time you hear from her.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Aug 20, 2013
    There are elements worth celebrating. The movie is thankfully less self-serious than the mopey “Twilight” films. The Mortal Instruments revels in its own camp. But there is plenty of room for improvement. The action flick is overly long, complicated and, even by teen romance standards, cringe-worthy in its cheesiness.
  3. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Aug 21, 2013
    The movie blasts by for a while as an odd and busy slice of highly watchable garbage.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 20, 2013
    There’s so much bouncing around in tone and story that this film never really finds its footing. It flounders around trying to figure out what it should be, and never really settles on anything.
  5. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Aug 28, 2013
    Not only have we seen this all before, but we were probably hoping to not see it again.
  6. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Aug 23, 2013
    These kids have to contrive magical pretexts just to lay hands on each other, and boy, are their excuses rotten.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Patches
    Aug 20, 2013
    If only the fantasy surrounding her made a lick of sense. Here, the Muggle types are known as the “Mundane.” An apt label for a wanna-be franchise with plenty of sheen and nothing to say.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 79
  2. Negative: 28 out of 79
  1. Jan 4, 2014
    I haven't read the series, but I watched 'The Mortal Instruments': 'City of Bones' with my girlfriend and we both Loved it! This movie should definitely be on everyone's watch list. Looking forward to the trilogy! Expand
  2. Sep 19, 2013
    I absolutely loved this movie. The books have a great story line and I think the director did a wonderful job at displaying that in the film. I don't think that there were too many twists in the movie. I found that the entire time I was watching it I wanted to know what happened next. Where as usually I don't get that interested. I don't know exactly what about the movie,critics didn't like but the only things that I have heard bad about it is that it had too much crammed into it. I feel just the opposite. I have read the books and if anything they could have added more to the movie. I like to watch movies that keep me entertained not bore me to sleep. The whole point of having a young adult book or film is to have a really great story line so you keep your readers into it. And I don't care what anybody else thinks this movie had a great story line! Expand
  3. Aug 21, 2013
    A great book-to-movie adaptation of an already much-loved book series. The cast is amazing and so is the plot which has no more than a few changes to it compared to the book. Expand
  4. Aug 21, 2013
    I'm rating this based purely on how much I liked the movie. If I focused on plot gaps or script awkwardness, my rating would be much lower. However, I watched this (yes, I actually watched it it, unlike, I suspect, the writers of earlier user reviews) purely for kicks. The kick of a hot young cast, with hot older supporting actors, battling it up fantasy-style in New York. The CGI was impeccable, the action fun, and the script mostly not cringe-inducing. That is more than can be said for your typical YA movie. All in all I got what I came for-- fun. Expand
  5. Aug 23, 2013
    I know people don't want to hear this, but lets the facts, it's a combination of "Twilight", "Harry Potter" and possibly other books series that you might have loved. There's nothing new here, it's just the next big teen movie. If your a girl and love "Twilight" then you'll absolutely adore this movie. If you're like me and were disappointed with its lack of originality, then you'll probably hate this movie. Overall, it's from book series that you've read before. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel "TheMovieManLife". Expand
  6. Dec 7, 2013
    Really disappointed. The books were much better. They took a lot of small important details that made the books great out of the movie and crammed it all together. A person who hadnt read the books couldnt even get into this garbage.. I waited forever for this (horrible) movie. If i were the author id be ashamed, they ruined her books. Expand
  7. Jan 22, 2014
    I have read all the books; and I am an older woman - not a teenager. I waited with such anticipation to see the movie (especially after the Hunger Games movies). What a disappointment and waste of my money. The two main characters lacked in chemistry and what's with putting vampire bites on Simon's neck? Valentine, who is the reason for all this drama taking place is barely covered. Maybe if I had not read the books (which are amazing) I would not feel this way.

    It's a shame when producers and directors take a great story with great characters and change things. The reason the book is a best seller is because of how it is written and the development of the storyline.

    I like what Kevin Kosner said on the night show about his movie Dances With Wolves and its length. He said, if I am going to make a movie I want to make sure the integrity of the story is not compromised and the movie will be as long as necessary to tell the story!!!

    Authors who sell the movie rights to their books (especially if they have such a strong fan base) should make sure the contract does not allow for such drastic changes - or better yet - save money from the sale of your books and produce it yourself or at least co-produce.

    No since making any sequels for me - I won't wast my time.

See all 79 User Reviews